Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring has sprung, the Classics, and where's Waldo (hint: I heard he was on MA flight 370)

Spring has Sprung. Well, at least out here that is. We've finally gotten the daily high winds I always associate with Spring. Lovely wind. 20+ mph pretty much every day. Yep..love spring here in the Central Coast. But in other places I hope and pray you are FINALLY getting real spring....it seems most of the country has suffered a rather amazingly horrible and LONG winter. Speaking of winter not giving up it's grip, I'm headed to Colorado Springs tomorrow (Monday) for the next 2 weeks, and I saw just last week they got more snow up in Denver (about 60 miles north). Hooray...snow. Can't wait to see snow again (NOT!). In my ever optimistic outlook, I called Colorado Cyclist last Friday and reserved me a beautiful Santa Cruz 5010 demo mt bike (I believe that's the correct model name)...it's a carbon 650b (27.5") wheel beast...the one in-between the niner and the regular 26" wheels. I hope and pray Cheyenne Canyon and the mountains just west of the Springs are relatively clear of snow at least up to the 9 or 10-thousand foot level, cuz that is my playground when I'm there. I'll only have the one weekend to ride, and hope I can get out on that beautiful carbon steed and really find out what I'm missing riding my old 2003 aluminum Santa Cruz Blur. Not that it's a bad bike (my current blur), far from it. But it's kind of heavy. 29lbs for a 4.5" rear travel bike, full XTR 9-speed triple (albeit 2003 stuff). Of course, there's always the bad side of this if I do get to ride, ie: finding out just how old and antiquated my current steed is and then forever lusting after a new $7000+ mt bike. I already have that problem with my road bike (it's also aluminum). I am lusting after a nice carbon frame, but just don't have that kind of disposable cash.

Another sign that spring has finally sprung is pro cycling. Yes, it's time for THE CLASSICS! I really wish I could see these live, but just can't sit at the computer all day, I have stuff to do. Today was Flanders, or more correctly, the Tour of Flanders...one of if not THE most famous of the Classics. It's been shaping up to be one of the best, as for the first time in a number of years, all the favorites enter it healthy and gunning for a win. Of course I'm rooting for Fabian, but he's got real competition in the renewed Boonen, and the young upstart Sagan, to name just the top 2 contenders. There are certainly a number of others who, given the right setup could easily slip onto the top podium spot. I'm actually rooting for Boonen for a change this year. It's like he's grown out of the young spotlight hound and has matured into a real rider that deserves respect. I'd really love for todays race to come down to Boonen and Cancellara fighting it out, and if they were to finish one/two in either order I wouldn't be sad in the least. But still deep down I want it to be Fabian. I just respect him SO MUCH. He's my fav probably of all time, though I still like and respect Big George (gasp, he was a DOPER!), and also Chris Horner. I'm really rooting for Horner to do well this season, and it would just be the most awesome thing on the planet if he can win another Grand Tour! I will surely be rooting for him to stay healthy and give it a run.

What else besides cycling is going on in my uhm, er, month and a half +  absence? How about Malaysian flight 370. Isn't that just one of the most bizarre things you can think of? In THIS day and age, an entire jumbo jet packed with people disappears from the planet (seemingly, unless we go with the alien abduction theory. If not, then it's still here on the planet SOMEWHERE!) And then add in the very odd scenario that it turned from it's original course to China, and where it went from there is truly anybody's guess right now. I am dying to know where and why...as is the rest of the world, ESPECIALLY the friends and family's of the missing passengers. There are many potential theory's...one being some kind of an on-board emergency that forced the pilots to turn the plane, but nothing really explains why someone turned off their transponder and why as they flew back over Malaysia (if they really did that) not ONE cell phone call was made from any of the passengers (surely somebody would be watching out a window and see lights, and then turn on their cell phone cuz the world is addicted to being online and I know someone would do that). So was it a bad guy/s taking over the plane? If that's the case I'd think we'd have heard SOMETHING, as one thing bad guys want is publicity. Did one of the pilots go rogue and make this happen? If so, what was the motivation and desired outcome of their plan? To disappear forever? Seems kind of out there to me. Was the entire plane full of people AND flight crew somehow incapacitated as it flew on the new altered course (using autopilot) until it ran out of fuel? They do know it went quite high for a while (that came out early in the investigation). Then we have the insane search for debris 1500 miles southwest out of Australia. It's been a month...if the plane went down over here today, in 2 weeks the debris would most likely be LONG away from that location, and in a month, double-long away. Like the Japanese Tsunami debris washing up on the West coast a month (ok, could have been a bit more than a month) after that devastating day. And I saw today a ship caught wind of a flight recorder pinger in a totally different area (north-west of Australia, nowhere near the elusive mystery debris field). It's been a month now. Not a whiff of what happened to those 270 people. In one of the early possibilities, it flew northwest in/over the Himalayas...crashing anywhere in there would be just as hard to find as in the ocean. I guess with what we truly know at this point in time, it could be almost anywhere on the planet, including in a hangar somewhere with everybody a hostage to some unknown group of bad guys. That's almost as likely as anything else, however I truly believe it went down somewhere, and it's a BIG world out there as this proves.

Well, I need to get off the computer and finish my chores....trying my best to leave Jeannie with the least to do possible. She has been selected for a Jury! Last week she sat thru selection nearly all week, and FINALLY after going thru I believe almost 180 potential jurors, they came up with their 12 and 4 alternates. Jeannie is Juror #5! She is quite excited to finally be on a jury, and she is also quite excited to escape from her work for the next 5 to 6 WEEKS! (they told them right up front it will be a lengthy trial, up to 6 weeks). She's not allowed to tell me pretty much anything, other than it's a rather high profile case, and I'll probably hear about it sooner or later.  She's not allowed to watch local news during the duration as she could hear talk of this trial. Of course after it's over she's allowed to tell me ALL! I'm quite excited for her, as I've never been on a jury either and would like to . If it weren't for this Colo Springs trip I'd LOVE to be on a jury right now, as my work has been insane lately and I'd appreciate the break. I'm looking at this trip as a nice little escape though, so other than being away from Jeannie and the babies I'm quite looking forward to it.

OK. Have to scoot. Stuff to do before I fly. Be safe out there and enjoy spring!

Cheers!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Sochi

Wow...the first week plus has ZOOMED by! I have no possible way to keep up, so I just pick and choose what portions to watch...sadly I'm missing SO MUCH! Susie, keep the "POOP" coming...love your ultra condensed take on things! One thing I did see was the last period of the mens US vs Russia hockey game early Saturday morning. OMG! I've never been a huge fan of hockey (I've been to games though, and it's WAY more fun in person, especially the minor leagues!)....but that game was something. And it was pretty clean overall too, especially considering the rivalry. Not a huge van of the Olympics rule that if the net is off it's moorings by even a tiny bit a goal doesn't count rule...seems like a goalie could really take advantage of it (in the NHL they don't have that rule apparently)...but it worked for us this time, sadly enough for the Russians...that goal they got with just about 5 minutes left from about 20 yards out just zipped thru everybody like a beam of light...and then was disallowed cuz our goalie had knocked the net a bit earlier. Because of that disallowed goal it then went to overtime 4 on 4, and after 5 minutes of that we had the greatest shootout I've ever seen! Oshie was pure calm under what must have been amazing pressure! He was all smiles and seemed to REALLY be enjoying himself each time he took the puck and moved in for a kill...and more than a few of those were sudden death if he missed as he was shooting last after his first goal.

Was very sad for Daly (the US Skeleton dude) who had been going back and forth with his friend and American between 3rd and 4th place in the Gold medal round of 4 runs...his friend had barely slipped ahead into Bronze position in the 3rd run, and on his 4th and last run as he was on his takeoff his sled runner came out of the groove and it was all over but for the crying...tough way to end an olympics. His friend got Bronze, and at least he was cool enough to say if anybody was going to beat him he was glad it was his friend...but I thought it was in EXTREMELY poor taste to keep the camera in his face asking him question after question...he was ready to cry and was having a very hard time staying composed...they should have at LEAST cut the video away and just had the audio for crying out loud...boo hiss for that interview. How the hell do you THINK he feels after just losing any chance at a medal after training his ass off for the last 4 years?

OK...gotta run...Susie, we're all counting on you...feel free to expound in even more detail...I'm doing a LOT of my Olympics viewing vicariously thru you...

later gaters!

Games STILL ON!